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Alex Van Kampen


Behind the Shot

Photographer Alex Van Kampen had been exploring hundreds of islands in the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean over the course of 10 days. Day after day brought storms and rain, until the skies finally cleared, the sun came out, and Alex found himself on an isolated sandbar surrounded by crystal clear waters. Naturally, he spent the day swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun.

As the day came to an end, Alex spotted these three surfboards wedged in the sand. No one was around. It was as if it were lunchtime and the surfers had wandered off to eat, leaving the boards to wait patiently for their owners to return. “It was as if time had stopped,” recalls Alex, “and all that’s left is the beauty of the surroundings.“

Alex used a high shutter speed and narrow depth of field to focus mainly on the boards and to blur the rest of the image, creating a dreamy, atmospheric background. The beautifully composed image puts the boards in the foreground, but also hints of a vast, breathtaking landscape. “I think the photo captures the essence of being lost in paradise,” Alex says.